View Full Version : Gonging with a 10" .357 Contender

03-10-2013, 04:14 PM
My neighbor just upgraded his carry gun from a .38spec to a 9mm. He brought me over a gallon zip bag of about 300 mixed .38spec factory loads, mostly swc's and told me to go shoot them up. Me, I can take a hint. First we hung our gong at 25yds. After separating the rounds by headstamp we got out my Contender and did some quick paper tests to see where we had to move the sights, but they were OK, just about an inch or two high, and all of them shot to more or less the same POI. (It is sighted in for 180gr Ranch Dogs @ 75yds.) No problem hitting the gong every shot. It's 12" wide by 36" high 3/8" steel plate, unpainted. (With a patina of rust and hanging in the shade it is about the same color as a deer.) Makes a nice loud BONG that you can hear even with ear protection. 25yds got boring quickly, so we moved it out to 50. We were both missing a few until we got the feel for it. By that time it was getting late so we moved the gong out to 75yds and called it a day. Snow was about 3' deep. I still have half the bag of ammo left and we are at it again this afternoon. Maybe we'll move it out to 100. I will report back tomorrow.

I think I am addicted to this gong for practice. Mostly I am testing loads and shooting paper groups from a rest, but that is not real world practice and if I do too much of it my real world shooting skills suffer. We put the gong up so we could practice shooting cast rifle loads at deer hunting ranges, but it is so much fun with handguns that we're talking about hanging two more so they are at 25, 50, 100, and maybe a smaller one at 15yds for our carry guns. Then we can shoot both rifles and handguns without lugging 80lbs of steel back and forth.

03-11-2013, 04:32 PM
Now we've got two of them hanging, a 1x3 at 50yds and a 2x2 at 100. I had no problems on the 50, but the 100 yd is not easy. It took me a few shots with those light target loads to get onto it. Almost three feet of snow helped as you could watch it kicking up so you knew where they were hitting. With the top of the gong at the bottom of the front sight post it started ringing. Next week when we've emptied the .38spec cases we'll start practicing with the too-hot-for-a-revolver 160 and 180gr hunting loads. They will shoot much flatter. It will also be warmer and the Blue Dot I use for them won't suffer from the cold. Once the load development is done I am a believer in gonging. I will likely get a lot less exercise if I don't have to walk back and forth all day changing targets, so I guess I'll have to make sure I have something to test every range session, too or there'll be a lot more of me than there there needs to be come deer season next fall.

Paul B
03-11-2013, 06:32 PM
"and maybe a smaller one at 15yds for our carry guns. Then we can shoot both rifles and handguns without lugging 80lbs of steel back and forth."

What about the possibility of bullets from the carry guns bouncing back at you from that 15 yard gong?
Paul B.

03-11-2013, 09:03 PM
Good point Paul. I think we can angle it so they are deflected to one side.

03-18-2014, 12:27 PM
Wear shooting glasses please.

Ain't that Contender a nice machine?